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Gillispie School / Experts in Education  / “WE CAN DO TOUGH THINGS” – Creating Your Family Mantra

“WE CAN DO TOUGH THINGS” – Creating Your Family Mantra

Can you describe your family’s moral North Star? How do you serve one another, the world? If those questions seem tough to answer, you may have some work to do.

You’ve probably noticed that most successful organizations have a mission statement, setting the framework for who they are, where they are going, and how to work together. These core values and beliefs are often critical to the ultimate success or failure of the business.

Family is more important and meaningful than a business, so if your family doesn’t have a guiding principle, a mantra, or a noble cause, now is the time to get started.

In her book, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, Dr. Michele Borba offers advice on how “to create a family mantra to boost kids moral identities” by holding conversations on what you value as a family.

As an interesting exercise, try using age-appropriate wording to discuss with your children the following:

  1. “What do we [as a family] stand for?
  2. What kind of family do we want to become?
  3. What kind of feeling do we want in our home?
  4. How do you hope people describe us?
  5. How do we want to give back to others?
  6. How can we make our world a better place?”

Of course, this is only the start. After this exercise, you’ll be left with quite a bit of amazing information to distill. Keep in mind, while your mantra need not be poetic, it should be authentic, inspirational, focused, heartfelt, and meaningful. In the end, it should be easy to remember and to use in different situations, guiding us gracefully through life’s inevitable ups and downs.


At Gillispie School, we believe that learning is a journey in which children are active participants. We balance a child-centered approach that does not rush childhood with well-researched academic programs that demand higher level thinking. We focus on social-emotional learning that develops strength of character, kindness towards others, and openness to diverse ideas and cultures.


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